Question: In Kabbalah the concept of a Machsom (barrier) is mentioned many times as a border between the physical world and the spiritual world. Why do we call the Machsom a psychological barrier? Is it related to psychology?
Answer: Kabbalah deals with changing our perception of the world we live in. If I have lived in this world for a number of years, then I already have a kind of record of this information. That is, I adapt to this world using all my senses. They acquire a particular direction, a certain way of perceiving and reacting to this reality.
My perceptions and reactions are related to each other in all five senses and form a single image that is imprinted in my mind and memory, which I can use later.
A picture pops into my mind and I compare it with what is already stored in my memory. This comparison gives me a particular result. I cannot even say how I get to know this world. It is simply living within me and is portrayed outside of me. That is today’s psychology.
What does the wisdom of Kabbalah do? In addition to feeling our world in the usual way, like all animals perceive it, Kabbalah makes it possible for us to undergo an internal transformation. I start perceiving the world not through the quality of reception where I am constantly thinking about how I can benefit from everything I see and how I can distance from anything that is unpleasant and strive for anything that is pleasant.
My egoism immediately divides everything that I experience into two categories: pleasant and unpleasant. If I perceive something as pleasant—an emotion, a color, sound, shape, texture, no matter what it is—I am drawn to it. If I feel something is unpleasant, I avoid it. This is why I perceive a three-dimensional world rather than a flat one. Egoism automatically classifies everything and then produces a picture of the world, only in itself. If something does not make an impression on my desire, I don’t recognize it nor can I feel it.
It seems to us that we see the world around us objectively. But we only see what our desire, our egoism, responds to, and according to this reaction, we perceive everything either positively or negatively. This is what makes it possible for us to discern objects that they represent.
They say that there is nothing outside of us except the upper Light. So, imagine that the upper Light, acting on egoism, evokes impressions and reactions within us. This is how we exist. This is the picture we receive in our normal egoistic images.
But there is another opposite picture, which can be obtained through an altruistic perception rather than our egoistic perception when I don’t want to perceive everything according to my egoistic vision, but want to see things as they exist outside of me.
According to the wisdom of Kabbalah, only the upper Light exists outside of you. There are no inanimate objects, plants, animals, or humans. So how do I see and feel everything? The egoistic desire has depth consisting of four layers: inanimate , vegetative, animate, and human. Through them, we perceive everything.
If you want to perceive them in an opposite form, rise above your egoism and work on love for sensations that are opposite to your current ones. Then you will feel and experience completely different sensations. These opposite feelings will no longer appear to you as people, animals, plants, or inanimate nature, but as the appearance of the Creator, the Light in your desires.
You can adapt to a perception that is outside of yourself, above yourself—above Tzimtzum Aleph (the first restriction) and above the Masach (screen)—in the quality of bestowal, and you will see the same desires but in an opposite form through the Ohr Hozer (reflected Light). The totality of the desires that are in the Ohr Hozer creates the image of the Creator for you. You will see your integration with Him.
To the extent that your desires can be closer to the qualities of the Creator, an image with volume appears within you, and you perceive the Creator—the quality of bestowal, of love—because you have created these qualities within yourself.
Question: So at present, we get a flat picture of the world and it only seems to us that it has volume?
Answer: No, it varies according to various egoistic characteristics. Everything that exists in the world are your egoism and the upper Light. The upper Light is formless and constant. But egoism constantly moves either within its egoistic parameters or the opposite, within altruistic properties of bestowal. Therefore, you feel either our world or the upper world. And this doesn’t depend on whether you are living your beastly life or not.
From the Kabbalah Lesson in Russian 9/3/17